Very old technologies

The challenge: build any kind of hover tank without using a tank kit's hull or turret - because nothing saus 'fun' like 70 tons of floating mayhem.

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Very old technologies

Post by Helioaeolian » Thu May 06, 2010 8:08 am

First-time poster anywhere. Sorry if this runs long, but I've been digesting everything that went before.

I've got a suggestion for making metal float that comes from a 17th century illustration I saw in a history of flight. It showed a wooden boat suspended from four copper spheres that enclosed a vacuum. It's the Archimedes principle. A steel ship floats by displacing water with air, so an airship should hover by displacing air with a vacuum.

The problem, of course, is atmospheric pressure. A metal sphere strong enough to enclose that much vacuum is too heavy to float. Unless you could make it out of a super-light metal. Something like titanium foam. Like styrofoam is to styrene, so titanium foam is to titanium. Stronger than steel, but lighter that balsa wood.

You can't make this stuff on earth because of the effects of gravity. But you can in space. Forge your tank in orbit, enclose enough vacuum to make it float, then re-enter the atmosphere and bring it down to earth. The whole thing hovers, and without fuel.

And this adds an extra bonus for the modeler: A scorched heat shield.

Foam the titanium with helium. The armor's still lighter than air, and because helium's an inert gas, it extinguishes shaped charges.

Fill the enclosed space with hydrogen. It's still lighter than air, and there's your fuel for the cold fusion engine.

And all of it is basic physics.
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Dr. Yo
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Post by Dr. Yo » Thu May 06, 2010 4:07 pm

Venting and ballasting might present problems, but in all, its a neat
concept. Welcome to the boards!
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Post by Andrew Gorman » Thu May 06, 2010 5:58 pm

Here a CGI vacuum airship from Russia if anyone needs some inspiration:

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